Happy to be 2-0. Any time you have a shutout, eight three-and-outs defensively, you're excited. Our punt return game, Braylon Cherry and the guys blocking for him really helped our field position in the game.
Offensively, very balanced and a lot of different people touched it. A little bit disappointed in the start we had on offense. I think we could have started better, but the guys stuck together, and after the first quarter, really started to play well. Moved the ball around and did some good things keeping the ball away. Our time of possession was close to 40 minutes. Those things are good.
Just don't want to have turnovers and penalties that we can prevent, which happened a little bit early. Jacoby continues to be very accurate, and I thought the guys around him are playing well within the system.
Get ready to go on the road. We have six-out-of-eight on the road now, so going to test us as a road team. Finished last season playing well on the road, so we can build off of that.
Playing a sold out game against ODU. I know it's an important game for their program and looking forward to going up there and playing.
I know you wanted your team to get started a little faster despite the 35-0 victory this past week. How do you assess the film many, when you have a shutout, were there any areas where you step back and say, you know what I want to improve here, I want to do more here, outside of what you said, scoring, in the first quarter obviously being not what you wanted?
Well, we do that win or lose. And on the first 18 plays, we had two fumbles. We lost one. We had two penalties and we had a drop, and that's the opposite of the week before. After that, we played really well on offense.
You can't start like that. We want to come out of the gate playing clean and that's the main thing. I thought we tackled well. We got in the backfield and made some plays, and like I said, our special teams, our coverage, we are all good. We had one low kick that got blocked, and that was on the kicker.
So we've got to do a better job getting our height on our kicks, which Kyle has been really good. I know he'll take that off the film. You're always looking to getbetter.
On the defensive side, who are
some of those guys that you've seen on film in
the first two games step up and really give you
an advantage moving into this third week?
I'm sorry? Could you say that again? I didn't hear you.
I said when you look at the
defensive side of the ball, you had mentioned a
lot of the prominent players on offense so far.
Just what you can say about some of those
defensive leaders on film through the first two
In each group, there's guys that have done different things. Hakim Jones has made some nice open-field tackles. I think Juston Burres has played back-to-back solid games in the secondary for us. Dravious sparked us a little bit in the first game with a forced fumble.
On the defensive line, B.J. Hill and Mike Rose are the most consistent leaders, and they both played their best game of the year in game two.
So just got to continue to build off of that and keep encouraging our young players, as they play more and more reps, they will become more and more in that role.
But there's a lot of guys on special teams that showed up. I was excited to see that there were seven players that made tackles on special teams for the first time.
Was this game scheduled following
your hiring, or what can you tell us about the
arrangements, obviously you spoke to the
importance of this game for ODU.
I don't really remember to be honest with you. I don't know how it went down. We had several holes in our schedule. It's hard to -- with us having LSU come off the schedule a couple years ago, trying to piece it all together, and I can't remember the arrangements, but just hearing their press conference, talking about it being one of the most important games in the program.
So for us, it's the next game and it's a road game and we need to play well in it. I know there's a lot of buzz up there about it.
Last year you played them and it
was an offensive shootout, but they were
primarily a passing team with a quarterback
that had a great career. Looking at the
numbers after their opener, looks like they
have gone more to a ground attack and they
had a great running back performance. Can
you talk about the different kind of test they
present this year?
Yeah, they are using their personnel. Last year their quarterback was a great player. He had thrown for almost 14,000 yards I think going into our game. He's playing in the NFL right now. He made a roster. So they centered everything around him, and that's good coaching.
And now their best player is their tailback, and they are letting him carry them and he's done a nice job. So in my opinion, that's what good coaches do is they put systems to their talent. They haven't really changed their formations or any of that. They are just handing the ball more than throwing it.
Got to tackle him. He runs through contact. He's got good vision. He's a short, quick guy that has good power. The O-line, really tight splits, and last year they had big splits. So a little bit different philosophy there, as well. They have got a lot of receivers back. So I'm sure if they had to throw, they would still be able to get back into the pass game.
Your rush defense has been very
good the first two weeks, again, by the
numbers. Does it look that good on film?
Yeah, I mean, outside of one bad play in the first game, gave up a 57-yard run in the opener. Outside of that, we've played well. What hurt us in their game last year was we tackled as bad as I've ever seen a defense tackle last year.
Our players watched that game; we watched it last year and we watched it this week. We understand why we played the way we did. As the year went on last year, we improved a lot of things. I think that gave us an eye-opener for us a year ago, and obviously we don't want to have to relive it.
Are there any specific offensive
schemes, offensive line's blocks schemes that
concern you about ODU about getting that
ground attack going like they have been?
No, it's not a schematic thing that they do.
It's just they block, really two runs, really three, if you count their stretch which isn't a huge part of their offense. They run inside zone, and they give movement and he finds his space and runs through contact and do a nice job with it. And when they do it, they have pass plays on the outside. So they are run blocking guys down the field and throwing the ball, which is what happens now in college football, and the NFL, really.
They have a little draw play around the center, and same thing, they have routes on the outside, they can throw it out there if your linebackers are loose. They stress you. They put their guys out wide and you have to do a great job of playing technique and shutting blocks and tackling. It's really fundamental football. It's nothing they are doing schematically. It's just they do a good job of using the 53 yards of the width of field.
With Jacoby Brissett, the buzz
around the nation has been an exceptional first
two games he's had so far. Can you go into his
progression so far this season, as well?
He's just handling his business. I think he's learned a lot being a starter for a year. He had a good off-season. He had a lot of film of himself to critique where he knows he could have been better and he spent the summer working on those things and he did that to his credit.
So far, you can see the improvement that he's made and just operating within the system and doing what Coach wants and letting his God-given ability do it.
I want to ask you a question about
one of our hometown boys that we are very
proud of, and get your take on him and how
he's doing with your program, and that's
Johnny's doing good. He's rehabbing an ankle that he sprained during camp, and came in and competed hard. He's going to be red-shirt player for us, missed a lot of practice. He's almost full-go now where he can get back in on scout teams. He's a great young man, works hard. I know everybody loves his personality and cares a lot about him here.
He needs to really take advantage of his redshirt year. I think that's the one thing that coming from a small town, just the training and nutrition and all the things that he has here, he can really be somebody that blossoms in year two, and so I'm looking forward to seeing this year be a developmental year for him.
What do you see on film from the
quarterback and what makes him stand out?
You know, he has not had to do a lot throwing the ball. It's hard to really tell you how good a passer he is yet just because they haven't really had to do it. They have relied on their run game. He's making the right checks and I think he's going to the right places, whether it's the running back or the routes they are calling.
He's not a guy that, like last year, would run all over the place, at least not yet on film, but he seems to be operating in their system and distributing the ball the way they want him to.